4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Timothy Brooks D.D.S. DMD P.C
500 Whitesport Dr SW
Huntsville, AL, 35801
Steve Harrell D.D.S. DMD P.C
8000 Liberty Pkwy
Birmingham, AL, 35242
Price-Denton Endodontics Llc
1320 Stratford Rd Se # A
Decatur, AL, 35601-6028
Fairchild, Jeffrey B D.D.S.
104 Cherry St
Gadsden, AL, 35901-5235
Cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery both blend health care with artistry and beautification. However, before we can beautify a person's smile, we must have a complete understanding of your dental makeover, not just an appreciation of, beauty.
Some of the first people to understand beauty were not health care specialists, but rather, artists. Great painters and sculptors studied anatomy, perspective, illusion, proportion, idealism and symmetry in order to recreate the beauty they saw.
Esthetic surgeons and cosmetic dentists create better-looking smiles. A cosmetic dentist creates pleasing-looking teeth, while the surgeon helps you feel more like smiling.
If cosmetic dentists and esthetic surgeons want to create beautiful smiles, they must begin to think like the great dental makeover artists. Michelangelo would never have considered one of his masterpieces complete until it was framed properly. The same goes for cosmetic dentistry. If we think of the teeth as the masterpiece, the frame is the surrounding soft tissue (such as the gums, jawbones, facial muscles, lips, and skin). We cannot consider one without the other.
Let's look at the areas of the face that contribute to the smile.
The support of the lips is very important. If the teeth are properly contoured and there is a normal bite, the lip support is nearly always adequate. When it is inadequate, it is correctable.
Aside from the teeth, the chin also plays a role in the shape of the lips. A weak chin can give lips a protruded appearance. The solution is to increase the fullness of the chin through cosmetic plastic surgery.
The next area of cosmetic dentistry focus in your dental makeover is the shape of the mouth. The lips and the teeth are of primary importance to the support of the lips; however, the facial muscles of expression are what control the smile.
When the corners of the mouth are either turned up or down, they convey the feeling of happiness or sadness. Soft tissue corrections around the mouth should be corrected after the teeth and jawbones are corrected.
Other facial features that can be surgically altered to contribute to a terrific smile are:
For further information on your dental makeover, consult with a cosmetic dentist, dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Each of these specialists works in close relationship with each other and can further counsel you on the best cosmetic dentistry treatment to improve your smile.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
There are two reasons why individuals need a dental crown lengthening procedure: to properly restore a tooth or to make a "gummy smile" more attractive and cosmetic dentistry can help with both.
To properly restore a tooth, several millimeters of healthy tooth structure must be available above the crest of supporting bone. However, this often is not the case when teeth are fractured, severely decayed, or worn. If enough tooth structure is not available, and the restorations are placed too close to the bone, the body reacts by creating a chronic inflammatory reaction that can create red, swollen, and sensitive gums. The gums can bleed easily and even become painful. Eventually, the inflammatory reaction may lead to bone loss around the tooth. To prevent these problems and to properly restore the tooth, the patient should have a dental crown lengthening procedure before restorative treatment.
The gummy smile may be the result of gum tissue growing over teeth that are of proper size. Often times teeth that appear small are, in fact, normal-sized teeth that are hiding under excess gum tissue. Dental crown lengthening removes the excess gum tissue and establishes a more appealing gum line.
Dental crown lengthening is a surgical procedure in which gum and bone tissue is removed from the circumference of the tooth. It is done in the dentist's office with local anesthesia (lidocaine). One or several teeth can be treated at the same time. After carefully reshaping the gum and the bone to expose healthy tooth structure, stitches (sutures) are placed to aid in healing. The stitches are usually removed five to ten days after the surgery. Follow-up appointments are scheduled as necessary to evaluate healing and plaque control. The gums should be allowed to heal for six to eight weeks before making any new restorations. At that time, the gums are more stable and better esthetic results can be achieved.
Post-surgical discomfort can last a few days and is usually minimal. It can be easily managed with commonly available over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Patients can expect to follow their normal routine the day after surgery.
Crown lengthening is recommended to properly restore a broken down tooth or to improve the esthetics of a gummy smile. If a general or cosmetic dentist does not frequently do surgeries, he or she may refer the individual to a periodontist who specializes in dental crown lengthening.
By Laura Minsk, DMD